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Quotes & Concepts: “Silage and hay take nutrients away”

D.M. Ball Published on 26 September 2015
cattle grazing

A key to profitable forage livestock production is to provide adequate nutrients for good forage growth. Fertility requirements for a hay or silage crop are vastly different than for grazed forages, even if the pasture and hay crops are the same species.

When forage is harvested mechanically, it is usually taken to a barn, silo or other storage facility, or to a feeding site at another location. Thus, virtually all of the nutrients in the top growth of the forage plants are moved to another location, possibly even away from the farm.

bale wagon picking up bales

In pastures, most of the nutrients in top growth are recycled via dung and urine which, with good management, will mostly be placed back on the pastures to stimulate more forage growth.

From Forage-Livestock Quotes and Concepts, D.M. Ball, et. al,

PHOTO 1: Cattle grazing.

PHOTO 2: Bale wagons picking up small bales.